Hearts Stewed in Wine

Hearts Stewed in Wine is a rich and succulent dish. Serve it with boiled rice and a mixed green salad.

6-8

6 lamb’s hearts, washed and prepared but not soaked

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon peppercorns, coarsely crushed bouquet garni, consisting of 4 parsley sprigs, 1 thyme spray and 1 bay leaf tied together 1 garlic clove, crushed onion, thinly sliced

1 fl. oz. olive oil

2 fl. oz. brandy

16 fl. oz. red wine

8 streaky bacon slices, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

8 oz. small onions, peeled and left whole 8 oz. small new potatoes 8 oz. new carrots 8 oz. button mushrooms

On a wooden board, cut the hearts in quarters using a sharp knife. Wash the pieces again and dry them with kitchen paper towels.

Place the pieces in a medium-sized mixing bowl.

Add the salt, pepper, bouquet garni, garlic and sliced onion. Pour over the olive oil, brandy and wine. Stir the mixture, cover the bowl and leave the meat to marinate for 5 to 6 hours.

With a slotted spoon, lift out the heart pieces and dry them well with kitchen paper towels. Set aside.

Pour the marinade through a strainer into a clean bowl and set aside.

In a large heavy flameproof casserole, fry the bacon over moderate heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until it is brown and has rendered all its fat. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon pieces and set them aside. Add the heart pieces to the fat in the casserole and cook them quickly for 5 minutes, turning them frequently until they are browned or all sides. As the pieces brown, transfer them to a plate. Set aside.

Add the flour to the casserole and, stirring constantly, cook it for 30 seconds. Pour in the strained marinade, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to the boil. Return the heart pieces and the bacon to the casserole. Cover the casserole, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the whole onions, potatoes and carrots and continue cooking for 25 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook for another 15 minutes or until all tne vegetables and the heart pieces are tender. Remove the casserole from the heat and serve the stew, straight from the casserole or transfer to a serving dish.

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